Resource description:

How we can understand and advocate for our health and social care colleagues who have or are recovering from Long Covid

Who is it for?

This is of interest to everyone (working in health and social care or third sector mental health charities in NCL) but especially for people who are working with and supporting colleagues with Long Covid or those with lived experience of Long Covid.

This webinar explores the profound effects of living and working with Long Covid and what we can do to support and advocate for our colleagues.


As of November 2022, there are approximately 2.1 million people living in the UK with Long Covid. There are now several studies which suggest that healthcare staff are overrepresented in these statistics, perhaps due to high levels of exposure in the workplace. Long Covid is a debilitating, chronic physical illness affecting multiple organs. It manifests with a myriad of potential complications, including damage to the heart, lungs, or brain; disorders of the nervous system; blood clots; impaired memory; and disabling levels of fatigue.

Many staff who have acquired the illness (some whilst in service to the NHS or Social Care Sector) now require support to return to or to remain in work safely. Without understanding and support they risk a decline in their health and loss of their jobs and income.

Workforce retention is a key priority across the health and care sector and this project seeks to explore experiences and draw attention to the challenges faced by our colleagues who have experienced Long Covid, the impact it has had and how to support them return to work and thrive in the workplace.  We recognise that work has a psychological function as well as a practical one.  Long Covid has the potential to have a prolonged systemic and profound personal impact.

The Event Features:

  • The Keeping Well NCL Long Covid Touchpoint Video: a short video of NCL staff sharing their lived experience of Long Covid and experts in the field discussing their ongoing work to support staff to return to work.
  • Richard Doran: Richard is an NHS Practitioner who is currently living with Long Covid. Richard shares his story, including how Long Covid has impacted his personal and professional life and what has helped him on his continued road to recovery. He also shares what he’s learned as he starts his return-to-work journey.
  • Robin McNelis: Robin is a Cardiac and Respiratory Physiotherapist and is the Lead Therapist for Post Covid Services at Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust. Robin also has lived experience of Long Covid. Robin discusses the flow of patients through the Long Covid Care Pathway, investigations and treatment, cognitive fatigue, expectations and working towards acceptance.
  • Carina Knight: Carina is a Clinical Specialist Vocational Rehabilitation Occupational Therapist at the Royal Free Neurological Rehabilitation Centre. Carina discusses supporting people with Long Covid returning to work, examples and reasonable adjustment, resources, relapse and the long term nature of the condition.
  • Karen Merchant: Karen is head of Human Resources (business partnering and employee relations) at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. In her role she has experience of supporting staff with long term health conditions who are returning to work, including staff with Long Covid.
  • Question and Answer session

Watch the Returning from Long Covid Webinar below

Watch the Long Covid Touchpoint Film below

Access our Long Covid Resource Pack

This pack is made up of resources that staff with lived experience of Long Covid have found helpful in their own recovery journey, as well as resources that staff working in Long Covid services across NCL use to support their patients. It also includes advice and information for managers or teams supporting colleagues with Long Covid in their journey to return to work. Click here to view it.

Read time: 10 minutes
Link to resource:
Topic: Physical Health
Audience: Everyone
Who is this for:
Resource format: Webinar